Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Dr. Seuss Outfit

I am very excited to be participating in the Fat Quarter Shop Dream Big with Dr. Seuss blogger challenge, using their Dr. Seuss ABC's Fat Quarter bundleDr. Seuss's ABC's is a favorite book in our house, so I was very excited about these fabrics, and I kept having phrases from the book pop in my head as I was working with them (it's catchy!).  Fat Quarter Shop put together a video tutorial showing how to make a cute baby quilt with the bundle; I went in a different direction and made a cute toddler outfit.

seuss outfit

Esther has nearly outgrown her last set of quick change pants, so I made her some 24 month sized ones to last through the winter. The main fabric for these pants is a lightweight green corduroy that I had on hand, and I used the ABC patchwork print for the bum panel and a patch on the shirt.  Rather than making the pants reversible, they are mostly lined in upcycled flannel (from a sheet) with the yellow polka dot print just on the bottom inside to make a cute cuff.

back of pants

The alphabet bum is so cute and colorful!  In making the pants, I made the same basic modifications as my last pairs - I narrowed the outside leg seams (making the waist/legs wider) but them added more curve to the inseam to make the legs a bit narrower again.  That way they aren't too much of a squeeze to get on over her diaper bum but have a bit less of a boxy look.

seuss pants front

Not that I shy away from unisex clothes, but I thought with the boy-ish style and colors of the pants, it would be good to have a shirt that was more clearly a girls style.  I upcycled a orange shirt to make a long sleeved top with a gathered neckline (my own pattern), with yellow fold-over elastic for the neckband giving a nice contrast color.  I wanted the shirt to tie in with the pants so I put a patch on from the same patchwork ABC fabric.

umbrella yak patch

Originally I cut a patch out of the big alphabet panel to use on this shirt (with the E elephant for Esther) but it was a bigger patch and it was too stiff to work well with the gathers in the neckline.  So I picked it out and made this smaller, lower patch and am saving the E for another shirt!  I am planning to save the rest of the panel to use for applique patches for other kids items in the future - I foresee lots of cute initial T-shirt gifts.

I also made a second pair of pants which turned out even more boy-ish so I think I am going to save them for a future baby gift.

bear pants

I used the bear fabric for the bum panel on these and the green dot for the contrast cuff lining.  The main fabric for these is upcycled from a chambray shirt of Lawson's, and I actually used the reverse side which was a bit lighter.  I lined these pants in upcycled flannel as well, so both pairs of pants should be nice and warm for the winter.

flannel lining

I usually think of sewing kids clothes with fabric yardage so this was a fun challenge to realize how much I could do with a few fat quarters!

Disclosure: Fat Quarter Shop provided me with the fat quarter bundle of fabric for this challenge, but all opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Improv I-spy Baby Quilt

Well, I just looked up and realized that after a summer full of lots of fun with a very active and mobile toddler Esther, and plenty of time crafting, I didn't manage to blog at all. Oops! Other bloggers, does that happen to you where you want to spend every spare minute squeezing in the actual crafts and so you don't make time to blog about it?

Improv I-spy 1

Now that it is really starting to feel like fall I am planning to get back in a regular habit of blogging. So I wanted to share this improv i-spy quilt that I recently finished for a friend's baby (after it sat on my design wall most of the summer - hopefully they still get some good use out of it even though he's probably crawling around more than laying on blankets now!)  I started out cutting different size i-spy squares and framing them with different widths of solid colors, making great use of jellyroll fabrics.  I originally had thought about making them into wonky stars but I decided to keep it simpler and have the i-spy squares scattered on an improv pieced background.  I used my design wall to lay it out and pulled together a bunch of different grey fabrics for the background.  It turned out a bit darker than I anticipated but I think it's a fun modern take on an i-spy quilt!

improv i-spy 3

I did a quick free motion meander quilting on it, and made an effort to avoid falling into my normal trap of tiny quilting - I couldn't believe how fast it went with big meanders, it probably only took an hour to quilt!  It was good to get some more FMQ practice, I think I should be brave and try a non-meander design pretty soon.

improv i-spy 2

I backed it with a perfect-sized australian animals fabric that I had in my stash and bound in a solid teal.  I accidentally trimmed too close to the orange block when I was squaring up the quilt - originally it was intended to be floating in the middle like the rest of the blocks - but I actually like how it turned out that that one block is against the binding.

I have been doing tons of sewing clothes for Esther (more on that soon), so I'm having a hard time focusing on my quilting projects... I always think I'll get back to them after I just sew her one more shirt, haha.  But I have another baby quilt half pieced and a bunch of similar i-spy squares started for another i-spy variation for us to keep, so I should really get back to it soon!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

More Quick Change Baby Pants

strawberry pants

Esther got a ton of use out of the first batch of quick change baby pants that I made her, I couldn't resist making her a slew more when she outgrew them.  (Pattern from Anna Maria Horner's Handmade Beginnings book (affiliate link)).  Most of these I kept the print selection simpler and just used two prints, with one for the main pants and the other for the butt panel, then the opposite for the other side.   That way the butt panel and the cuff match for both sides.  I love love love this Heather Ross Briar Rose Strawberry print and it looks so cute on these pants. I can't resist dressing her in these whenever they are clean!

bunny pants

I also love how these bunny pants turned out, I had been saving this Aneela Hoey fabric (from her Posy line) for a special project and decided these pants would be it! These I actually lined with a lavender fabric because I figured the bunnies would be too cute to ever be reversed. The only downside to these pants is that they get dirty really easily so they aren't great for digging in the mud at the park, but they are cute enough to make up for it.

elephant pants

I actually made these elephant pants before Esther was born, when we knew we were having a girl but I still really wanted to make her gender neutral clothes. (The elephant fabric is from Cloud 9's Ed Emberley fabric line). Which obviously is not as high a priority for me now, haha. Not that I don't dress her in plenty of gender neutral things, I just have loosened up and realized that part of the fun of having a little girl is dressing her in adorable strawberry and bunny outfits. I had nearly finished the pants but I went back and took them apart and resewed them with narrower side seams to make them wider in the waist/butt, since the first pair I had made originally were so tight. I love the elephants on these pants and while the other side (with elephants as the main pants print) is super cute she more often wears them on this side since they don't get dirty quite so easily.

leafy pants

Finally, I made her a pair of simpler green leafy pants. She actually was wearing these on St. Patrick's day very fittingly, and totally accidentally - I was at a kids event where all the other children were purposefully dressed in green and I hadn't been thinking about it at all. One time when wearing lots of green paid off! I also modified the pattern a bit more for this pair of pants (and the others, except the elephant pants that I had sewn earlier) - since I was letting out the side seam to make more room in the bum, I also narrowed the leg by adding more of a curve to the inseam, making the legs narrower at the bottom. This changes the shape of the pants a bit but I think it looks better than the extra-wide leg that resulted from the other adjustment I made and it also looks a bit more feminine. I did have to be careful to make the bottom of the leg still straight so that they cuff well.

I have to say, it took some willpower not to make more of these pants - these were all 12 month size and I am trying to hold off on making more until the fall when I see what size she is in then... I'm figuring that as she gets taller this summer she may be able to wear this current set as capri pants for a while too.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Mod Mosaic Baby Quilt

mod mosaic baby quilt

I realized that I never shared this baby quilt which I made over a year ago - before she was born for a baby who is now walking!  I used Elizabeth Hartman's Mod Mosaic design although I think I pieced it somewhat differently than in her original floor pillow tutorial - I pieced small sections together randomly and then laid it out rather than laying out all the pieces first.

mod mosaic quilt detail

I mostly used the green/yellow/orange/pink colorway of Thomas Knauer's Savanna Bop fabric line, with coordinating fabrics from my stash, since the parents had shared a similar color scheme fabric with giraffes that they were using for curtains.  I quilted it with looping free motion meander design.  I didn't want to put a border on the quilt but I also wanted to echo the white strips in the quilt, so I used a flanged binding to have a border of white next to the green binding.

mod mosaic binding

It seems like our friends are having another baby boom this spring so I am hoping to make a number more baby gifts for all these new cuties soon!
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